Was it really in January this year that we were in Cádiz? It feels like another era, but one I can summon up in my head by remembering the glory of the sunsets we saw there. You’ll have seen at least some of these photos before, but this is your Virtual Holiday for the week. I’m presenting them to Jude for her Photo Challenge this week, and to Becky – well, one of them anyway – for her October Squares. How kind of me to share!
I’ve shown this image before, but it’s a textbook demonstration of perspective – everything here leads your eye to the cathedral in Cádiz – so let’s give it another outing – squared up of course – for Day Ten of Square Perspectives.
Were we really only there in January? It feels like another life, a different world. And look at that clear, warm light! Ah well …
It’s time for Jude’s 2020 Photo Challenge again, and this week, she’s asking us to focus on the vertical. It’s not surprising that I’m heading for cityscapes on the whole: though not entirely. I wanted to have something for #15 Squaretops too – so look out for a topsy-turvy image at the bottom of the post.
Here are two riverside skyscrapers: quite similar. But I like the way that in one – in Seville, on the Guadalquivir – the upward sweeping lines are emphasised by its reflection rippling on the waters beneath: and in the other – in London, on the Thames – it’s the contrast with the blocky cranes that does the job.
Then I chose a couple from Cádiz. Palm trees. In one the tall palms lead your eyes to the – rather small – moon, and in the other, two wayward palms making an impromptu arch contrast with the properly upright trees they’re next to.
Back in London, Greenwich actually, the standing figures echo the massed skyscrapers of modern 21st century London.
And I liked this shot from Warsaw. The vertical lines aren’t all that pronounced, but still lead you up to those precariously perched window cleaners.
Finally, an image (square of course) taken on the Leeds-Liverpool Canal near Gargrave. Have you noticed it’s upside down? Topsy turvy? That’s the water up above, and the trees and sky down below.
I’ve been staying close to home for most of my recent posts. But today, I’m going to travel – only virtually, so no harm done.
I’m going to take you on a ship, to the seaside, and on sunny days out in Yorkshire: not for a holiday (though why not?) but in quest of horizontal lines, as requested by Jude in her Photography Challenge.
Let’s start in Cádiz. Was it really only three months ago that we were there, enjoying street life, as Spaniards always do, or joining them on the beaches for sunsets such as this one? It feels like another, impossible world.
Here are two views from the North Sea: one of wind farms near Rotterdam: one of a wonderfully impressive evening sky. In each case, the horizontal line of the sea at the horizon adds to the drama of the scene.
And here we are just up the road in Masham. I like this straight line of barbed wire with sheep’s wool snaggled along its length.
But let’s finish off with a Top Square, of a cormorant atop the end of the pier at Whitby. I like the way the bird’s striking silhouette is complemented by the rigid geometric shape of the pier.
Horizontal lines. Useful devices to peg a scene on, and to keep your camera straight.
Do you want to come for a walk with me in Cádiz? Let’s see. We’ll want to see the Cathedral and its museum; the former Cathedral; the Roman Theatre; the Mercado Central; the Castillo de Santa Catalina; the monument to Cortes of Cádiz, promulgators of the Spanish constitution in 1812; the city walls …..
That sounds too much? You’re right. Let’s just go for a stroll instead, and see what turns up.
We’ll start out from our hotel. It was a convent once, and while it’s still a spacious and gracious place, we didn’t have to get up in the small hours to pray.
And just down the street is this greengrocer, with its inviting wall display that changes every day.
Breakfast first though. Let’s find a bar. We’re having a large glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, pan con tomate (grilled bread with grated raw tomato and a drizzle of olive oil), and a good strong coffee.
We needed to post a letter on our first day. It took us ages to find somewhere. And it’s here, in the wall of the Central Post Office. That was once a convent too.
And look! These narrow streets need protection from ill-driven carriages crashing into them, Corners of buildings are kept intact by covering them with metal plates, or even using redundant canons from the Napoleonic wars.
We haven’t been to the market yet. It’s in the hub of the city, and all about the fish: stall after stall of it. It’s hard to believe there’s anything left in the sea. Fruit and veg., meat and cheese and all the rest come a poor second here.
We said no sightseeing. But we have to pop into the cathedral – mind that crane!
And climb the tower for views over the city.
You’re never more then a minute or two from the sea here. Views? Of course there are. But there are also community-driven cats’ homes, randomly furnished with boxes and cast-off carpets, and lots and lots of cats.
And while we’re walking along the seafront – look at this. It’s a ficus macrophylla – a giant kind of fig tree, allegedly brought back from India as seedlings round about 900 by two nuns. It’s too big to photograph really.
And here’s La Casa de las Cinco Torres (five houses, despite the name), built facing the sea in the 18th century, to make a fine impression on incoming visitors.
Time for a drink now? You’re in sherry country (Jerez is just down the road), so let’s go where the locals go, and ask for some advice about what to choose. Here’s Taberna Manzanilla. Malcolm was offered a 7 year old number, but mine was 14 years old, and accompanied by a local sheep-and-goat cheese. What will you choose?
We could just as well choose La Manteca. Either way, decorating the interior with bull-fighting posters seems obligatory.
Tired now? Well, mooch round a bit then – here are some entirely random images.
Then we’ll finish off the day in the fisherman’s quarter, La Viña , at la Tabernita, a family concern only open at the back end of the week, and weekends, share a few tapas, and wander back to the hotel.
An entry for Jo’s Monday Walk: Jo – I don’t think this walk will get past Quality Control, as it’s a composite. But I just couldn’t pick one!
Bright, slight, light – maybe a Bit of a Fright. A puppet from Cádiz. You wanted culture? Wait till I get home and can access all my camera photos. For now, enjoy this little charmer from the Museo del Titere , a delightful little museum all about puppets at the edge of the old town.
January Squares: January Light
We’ve been wandering round Cádiz, Cádiz, Cádiz today. That’s what you call the city if you live in the ancient town. Once names the province, twice the whole city, modern bits and all. Three times, and you lay claim to living in the oldest continuously occupied city in Europe, founded by the Phoenicians in 1100 BC.
Only doesn’t it sound more immediate to say ‘founded by the Syrians and Lebanese’? Because that’s what Phoenicia has become. And Cádiz had its place too in one of the twelve labours of Hercules. It was here that our hero was tasked with separating Europe from Africa. As you know, he succeeded.
We went on a walking tour of the city. How I love these. Local guides love to help you poke your nose into those parts of the town that the guide books don’t reach.
We explored pre-mediaeval Cádiz, the vast fish market and flower market, and got a flavour of La Viña, fishermen’s Cádiz, severely flooded as a consequence of the Lisbon earthquake on November 1st 1755, but now a laid–back, cheerful place to go and party and eat freshly cooked fish caught only hours before.
Cádiz, Cádiz, Cádiz. Love it.
A bright sight to invite appetite!
Moonlight. Street lights. Reflected lights. The Cathedral of Cádiz in the twilight.
January Squares: January Light